Tutsan

(Also known as Goldflower)

Hypericum androsaemum and Hypericum kouytchense (syn.H. x moserianum)

Family: Clusiaceae

Type of weed:

Noxious Weed Class 3. (See more noxious weeds).

Flowering Months: , ,

Description

A semi-evergreen shrub to 1.5 m tall. Stems are reddish and soft wooded, sometimes arching.

Leaves are stalkless, green on the upper surface, paler greyish-green below some turning red during autumn. When crushed, leaves have a slight curry-like aroma.

Yellow flowers form in clusters on branch tips during summer.

Fruit contains many oval shaped brown seeds. Hypericum androsaemum has a fleshy, berry-like fruit that turns red in autumn. The fruit of Hypericum kouytchense is a dry capsule.

Tutsan is related to St John’s Wort which contains the toxin hypericin which causes photosensitisation in sheep, cattle, horses and goats.

Don’t confuse with…

Juvenile plants could be confused with the native Melaleuca hypericifolia.

Before plants become woody and erect, the Hypericum kouytchense can look like a juvenile eucalypt.

Dispersal

Tutsan seeds are produced in large numbers and are spread by birds, foxes, water and through soil and vehicles.

Impact on bushland

Tutsan occurs on forest edges and is rated a very serious threat to native vegetation in damp and wet sclerophyll forest, riparian vegetation, warm temperate rainforest and cool temperate rainforest.

It forms dense thickets that smother and shade out native vegetation, including those forming the ground layer and smaller shrubs and prevents the regeneration of native plant species.

Hypericum kouytchense is frequently found in swamps and both species occur along creekline edges in the Upper and Mid Mountains.

Distribution

, . Mt Victoria to Hazelbrook and Mt Wilson, Mt Irvine and Mt Tomah

Alternative planting

Native plants

Alternative plantings to hold soils on creekbanks or stormwater drainage lines include ferns, sedges or rushes such as:

  • Fishbone Water Fern (Blechnum nudum)
  • Prickly Rasp Fern (Doodia aspera)
  • Common Ground Fern (Calochlaena dubia)
  • Broad Rush (Juncus planifolius)
  • Common Rush (Juncus usitatus)
  • Tall Sedge (Carex appressa)

In drier areas plant Correa spp.

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.

Control

  • Seedlings can be hand pulled if all the roots can be removed. Use a trowel or knife to loosen the soil first.
  • More established plants will need to be cut and painted using herbicide. As the plant can layer, particularly in swampy areas, scrape and paint may be required; however, this needs to be applied with great care to avoid spreading the herbicide.
  • Dense seedling beds can be sprayed with herbicide, depending on the presence of native groundcovers, shrubs or grasses. Clear weed material from around native plants before spraying. Avoid using herbicide in winter when Tutsan is semi-dormant.
  • Do not spray plants in creeklines and swamps.

Berries are spread by birds, so treat the plants before they fruit. Dispose of the berries or capsules. Cut parts of the plant can be spread out to dry off the ground.

For more info

For key points on these techniques:

Noxious Weed Class 3

Regionally Controlled Weeds

Characteristics: Class 3 noxious weeds are plants that pose a serious threat to primary production or the environment of an area to which the order applies, are not widely distributed in the area and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.

Control objective: Reduce the area and the impact of those plants in parts of NSW.

Control action: The plant must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.

NSW Noxious Weeds Act 1993

Refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Noxious and Environmental Weed Control Handbook.